Toronto advising local restaurants to prepare for reopening

Jun 5 2020, 1:04 pm

The City of Toronto is advising restaurants — along with personal service settings like salons and barbers — to prepare for safe reopening.

Mayor John Tory announced Friday that the city, led by Public Health, is offering guidance to those in these industries in order for safe reopening to occur once provincial orders are listed.

Nearly 8,000 restaurants across the city, and 3,500 personal service settings like salons and barbers, tattoo parlours, nail salons, and aesthetic services, have been closed or had their service severely impacted since March.

Now, owners of these businesses are being advised to prepare for reopening, but they are not permitted to begin operating until a revised order is announced by the Province of Ontario for the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

“The last few months have been devastating for businesses that were forced to close due to public health precautions and I know everyone wants to do everything they can to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to avoid having to ramp up restrictions again,” the mayor said in a release.

City staff will reportedly be communicating with impacted businesses over the next week either individually or through BIAs, to ensure that the resumption of service can happen promptly, once permitted.

Physical distancing measures, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and other public health cautions will be required for businesses as the reopening commences.

The City will also work with business owners to ensure enforcement is understood,  accessibility and cleaning requirements, and to explain how to maintain physical distancing to keep customers and employees safe.

Additionally, on Thursday, Tory announced the development of CafeTO, a new program designed to help the restaurant and bar industries restart.

“Restaurants and personal service settings are key parts of our economy that I am eager to see reopen as soon as safely possible. I hope these guidelines will help businesses as they prepare to reopen – I know the vast majority of business owners want to do everything they can to protect their employees, protect the public who use their services, and protect the health of our entire city,” Tory said.

Restaurant and personal service settings that have a current licence can prepare to reopen when the provincial orders are lifted. A reopening inspection by Toronto Public Health will not be required, according to the city.

The issuing of new business licences and renewal of existing licences by the City of Toronto has been suspended since the onset of the pandemic; to help business owners with their restart plans, there are now new processes for businesses to apply and obtain licences online.

If a new business licence is needed for restaurants or personal service settings, owners can email [email protected] for a contact-free licence application process.

More information on business licensing and application requirements is available here, guidelines for restaurants can be found here, and guidelines for personal service settings can be found here.